How to Mise Tip #5: Oranges.

January 7, 2011 § 2 Comments

Ok, I must be on a fruit thing today.  Coincidence?  The fact that there’s no natural growing fruit within hundreds of miles?  You decide.

I just finished my iced tea with lemon (from the entry before) and it was delicious.  Although part of the way through I realized that the lemons had kind of dirty skin…so an addendum to Mise Tip #4: Lemons would be if you are going to be nice enough to offer lemon to someone definitely make sure to wash it first.

So now that my bevvie is finished I’m hungry and all I brought to work today was fruit…odd.  As I was peeling an orange I started thinking about how you can’t peel an orange in front of someone else without having to offer them a piece of the orange once you’ve gotten your fingernails all yucky from peeling it.

A lot can be said about the quantity of orange you offer someone who is watching you peel it.  A coworker offered me half of her orange yesterday – it can be truly said of her (in non-orange-related experiences) that she is generous, genuinely interested in other peoples’ stories and problems and is a funny person who I love being around.  Halfers come in three groups:  the selfless-giver of ‘the bigger half,’ the fair and balanced evens-stevens immaculate separator and, finally, the realist who understands they did the work to open the orange, they bought it, so gosh darn it they’re going to give you the slightly smaller half.

A quarter of the orange is an acceptable proportion.  It’s a light snack for the recipient and it’s a clean enough proportion that no one feels left out.  This is the portion I usually give.

Conversely, in large groups it may be necessary to dole out several portions.  This calls for the doubled-up two slices method.  You can give a part of your orange to 2-3 people and still have a third of it left for yourself!  Very generous, indeed.

Social nuances are bizarre – how on Earth do we all perceive these things, compute them and form miniscule judgments based on interactions?  Generally we gloss over details and don’t realize how these minutia group together to eventually form a whole picture.

BE WARY the orange-peeler Scrooge who offers you ‘some orange’ and hands you one, stinking, waggly piece of orange.  The One-Slicer.  The miser.  This person should just not offer in the first place because now their fingers have been on BOTH SIDES of your measly slice, instead of just on the bookends of a chunk.  They might be selfish, but they know its wrong so they relent their citrus fruit in embarrassing proportions.  If you meet a One-Slicer:  head for the hills.

Here are some more interesting things about oranges you probably don’t need to know:

-In 1st grade I had a serious aversion to oranges because we did a project around Christmas where we recreated ‘colonial times Christmas.’  This involved 7 year olds punching whole cloves in to thick, Maine-winter oranges.  Uhhh.  Child labor?  Possible allegations of torture?  My hands killed and smelled like hipster cigarettes for weeks.

-My first live-in boyfriend had a proclivity to orange-scented cleaning products.  Is this normal?

-It drives me .absolutely.bonkers. when people peel the pith off their orange.  Shut up and eat it, jerk!  First of all, the pith is kind of an acquired taste:  I find it delicious.  So the mere waste bothers me.  Count on top of it the fact that the pith contains almost as much Vitamin C in it as the flesh (I read that somewhere that looked reputable, so I believe it).  Also, when you make orange marmalade you make a sachet of the pips and the pith to extract natural pectin.  That’s a nice way to have Paddington Bear over for tea without boiling horse’s feet or any crap like that.

-‘Pip’ is possibly the best name for anything, ever.

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§ 2 Responses to How to Mise Tip #5: Oranges.

  • kate says:

    funny you should mention pectin being made from horse’s hooves- i was just talking about this commonly held belief. but pectin is extracted from fruit sources- apples or oranges, typically after apple juice is made or from dried orange peels (why they have these commercially, i don’t know. so use commercial pectin with no fear of eating animal products!

    • I stand corrected! I’d hate for people to be missing out on delicious jellies and marmalades because of my misinformation. I must be thinking of gelatin, then, right?

      P.S. Love your blog! Chiang Mai II is our every-other-Friday eating spot (we’re Baysiders) and I liked the props to the salad you gave on your Thai mission!

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